Each night, Special Report will profile one of a dozen potential Republican presidential contenders. When it's all over, look for a documentary special that lays out the state of the 2012 race inside the GOP.
With every installment, Power Play will analyze the candidate's strengths, weaknesses and odds of success.
Current Position: Governor of Louisiana (Elected 2007)
Previous experience: Congressman from Louisiana's 1st District (2005 to 2008); assistant secretary of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Service (2001 to 2003); president of the Louisiana university system (1999 to 2001); executive director of the National Bipartisan Commission on the Future of Medicare (1998 to 1999); secretary of Louisiana Department of Health and Hospitals (1996 to 1998)
Education: Undergraduate degree from Brown University (1991); Master of Letters from Oxford University (1994)
Family: Wife, Supriya, two sons, one daughter
What you might not know:
Jindal's given name is Piyush, but as a boy insisted on being called Bobby, a homage to his favorite television character, Bobby Brady.
His Pitch: Something Completely Different
The idea that a 39-year-old, Indian-American, Catholic policy wonk would even be in the running for the Republican nomination for president is remarkable in itself. Republicans have a presidential archetype: Old, white, Protestants who are policy generalists.
But perhaps it is all things that make Jindal different that make him so appealing to a substantial number of GOPers. For a party looking for a rebranding, he would certainly shake up public perceptions.
In the decade between his first public-sector job and his election to Louisiana Governor, Jindal was marked in his state and nationally as one to watch. But his rapid ascent through state government and politics surprised his supporters and disappointed his detractors who were waiting for him to stumble.
Jindal has the conservative bona fide to excite the party's base and a track record to impress skeptics. He has been an effective reformer at the state and national levels and has built a strong track record on spending and ethics reform in Baton Rouge.
And, he became a favorite of many Republicans when he went toe to toe with President Obama during the Gulf oil spill debacle.
The Knocks: Not Ready for Primetime
Oh that terrible speech!
Seldom has a big speech backfired on a politician the way Jindal's 2009 Republican rebuttal to President Obama's first address to a joint session of Congress did. Jindal looked lonesome and sounded reedy in the cavernous, darkened front hall of the governor's mansion after the frothy cheers and bright lights that bathed Obama. He undid all of the hype that had been building around him since his election and short list status for John McCain's running mate.
Jindal won back a lot of that ground in his performance under fire during the BP oil mess, but it will be hard for him to convince Republicans that he can really share the stage with Obama in a debate without looking like he is out of his league.
Plus, the speech flop convinced Jindal to pull in his presidential feelers. With in-state rivals looking for weak spots, Jindal ditched his national fundraising organization and PAC in favor of a tight focus on his 2011 reelection campaign. If he were to jump in the presidential derby, he'd be starting from scratch.
That may make Jindal a more likely number two than actual nominee, especially since he would bring so much policy heft to a ticket.
Power Play's Odds on Nomination: 18 to 1
Chris Stirewalt joined Fox News Channel (FNC) in July of 2010 and serves as politics editor based in Washington, D.C. Additionally, he authors the daily Fox News Halftime Report political news note and co-hosts the hit podcast, Perino & Stirewalt: I'll Tell You What. He also is the host of Power Play, a feature video series on FoxNews.com. Stirewalt makes frequent appearances on network programs, including America’s Newsroom, Special Report with Bret Baier and Fox News Sunday with Chris Wallace. He also provides expert political analysis for FNC’s coverage of state, congressional and presidential elections.